Environmental information regulations
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 came into force on 1 January 2005.
The regulations give members of the public the right to access certain environmental information if that information is held by the Council. The request can be made by letter, email, telephone or in person.
Environmental Information includes information about:
- The state of the elements of the environment including air, water, soil, land and biological diversity.
- Factors such as substances, energy, noise, radiation and waste which affect the elements of the environment such as those mentioned at paragraph 1.
- Measures (such as policies, plans, programmes and agreements) and activities likely to affect or protect the elements at paragraph 1 or likely to affect the factors mentioned in paragraph 2.
- Reports on the implementation of environmental legislation.
- Cost benefit and other economic analyses and assumptions used within the framework of the measures and activities mentioned at paragraph 3.
- The state of human health and safety, including contamination of the food chain, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures inasmuch as they are or may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment referred to in paragraph 1 or, through those elements, by any of the matters referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3.
Usually the authority will be obliged to provide such information as it has. There are a number of exceptions, but if any of these applies we will explain why. Most requests must be dealt with in 20 working days. If, for example, the information requested is complex or a large amount of information has been requested, the period for our response can be extended.
The Council is entitled to make a reasonable charge for the provision of information under the 2004 Regulations. This is also subject to certain exemptions. Anyone making a request for information will be informed if a charge is to be made. Payment is normally required before the information will be provided.
Further information and guidance on these rights can also be obtained from the Information Commissioner's Office website.